Recommended Maintenance Tips for Timber (Sports) Floors
When considering the large investment made when installing Timber Floors; regular maintenance including the application of Re-Coatings; will ensure the longevity, condition and appearance of the floors are maintained to their highest standard.
Regular maintenance of all timber floors will extend their life and ensure it presents constantly at its best.
The correct care of your floor requires the following simple procedures:
The removal of normal dust, dirt and grit can be achieved quickly and effectively using an electrostatic sweep (Scissor) mop. To reduce the effect of grit on the floor it is important that the floor be swept prior to games or two-three times daily or as often as possible to minimise damage to the floor surface.
We also recommend all Mops and Brooms be cleaned thoroughly (including Vacuumed) regularly to remove all retained dust and grit from fibres.
General Spills and sticky oils will form a matrix on the surface, which cannot be removed by sweeping. To clean these small areas effectively and remove sticky dirt it will be necessary to use a damp mop only that has been immersed in a neutral cleaner mixed to manufacturers recommendations.
These are recommended to maintain large floor areas. For areas over 200 sq.m it is generally more cost effective and efficient than hand mopping.
It is generally recommended this procedure should be employed Weekly (at a minimum) or more frequently for ‘High Use’ Venues (each 3 – 4 days) for optimum results.
A non-foaming Neutral Cleaning Detergent is recommended.
Appropriate Cleaning / Buffing Pads to be employed (based on manufacturers recommendations).
Using oily Detergents or Soaps is not recommended, as these leave a residue across the floor surface. This residue impacts on the participants using the floor, as well as making Annual Re-coating susceptible to potential de-lamination between layers of old and new Coatings.
Should an Auto Scrubber not be available, damp mopping can be employed to maintain the floor. This process provides an effective clean and should be undertaken with a neutral pH wood floor cleaner or product similar to that used for an Auto Scrubber. Harsh detergents or abrasive cleaners are to be avoided. After wetting the mop it should be wrung out until it is moist (only) before mopping. Using clean water, a final mopping with a mop wrung out till it is ‘dry’ may be used to further remove and ensure there is excess moisture on the boards.
The use of mats at all external entries will reduce the amount of abrasive material (dust, dirt and grit) from being walked onto the sports floor. Matting with a soft backing is recommended.
It is also recommended that all Matting be regularly removed from the Floor and Cleaned thoroughly (Vacuumed) to remove all retained grit and dust from Matt fibres.
ABS Timber Floor Services suggests all Sports Courts should be considered for a regular (Annual) Re-Coat - subject to usage, cleaning and maintenance regimes.
In the interests of maintaining a high quality Timber Floor, ABS would advocate that it is better to recoat a little bit too soon, rather than a little bit too late.
Below are our recommendations
- Install Non-Marking and Non-Abrasive soft pads and/or fittings to the bottom of all moveable Furniture such as the bottoms of Chairs, Desks, scoring benches, etc
- Use Mats or other appropriate Floor Coverings underneath Gymnasium equipment to protect the surface of the floor
- Clean all Mats daily
- Clean Electrostatic Mops daily (a recommended method is to Vacuum)
- Don’t - Use excessive Water to clean, as this will damage any timber floor.
- Don’t – Wax or Polish are not suggested for Sports Floors. The floor coating applied is designed as a single system requiring regular maintenance / re-coating. Wax and polish coatings will have to be removed entirely (Stripped or Sanded) to ensure proper adhesion of any subsequent coating adding to the cost of any Annual Refurbishment.
- Don’t - Drag anything across the floor – Gymnasium Equipment, Tables, Chairs, etc.; as each will cause unnecessary damage to the floor and will prompt premature recoating. If moving Pianos, it is recommended using special moving trolleys.
- Don’t - Encourage Inappropriate Footwear i.e. High heels and Football Boots.
- These shoe styles can apply point or impact loads and compress the Timber.
- Don’t – Discount the impact of ‘normal’ Footwear i.e. Hard Soled Street Shoes, Tennis and Sports Shoes. These can trap dirt, sand particles and small pebbles, all of which will damage the floor and increase wear of the floor coating.
Correct maintenance and cleaning is vital to maximise the life span of any Timber Floor and the Floors Coatings. To achieve this it is advisable to follow all of the above steps as often as possible. Even if the floor looks clean, it may not be.
A method of checking for any dirt or grit on the floor is to simply rub your hand over the surface. You will feel any grit.
N.B. ABS Timber Floor Services provides all information based on current Industry recommendations and manufacturers and suppliers advice.